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[mahr-vuh l] /ˈmɑr vəl/
something that causes wonder, admiration, or astonishment; a wonderful thing; a wonder or prodigy:
The new bridge is an engineering marvel.
Archaic. the feeling of wonder; astonishment.
verb (used with object), marveled, marveling or (especially British) marvelled, marvelling.
to wonder at (usually followed by a clause as object):
I marvel that you were able to succeed against such odds.
to wonder or be curious about (usually followed by a clause as object):
A child marvels that the stars can be.
verb (used without object), marveled, marveling or (especially British) marvelled, marvelling.
to be filled with wonder, admiration, or astonishment, as at something surprising or extraordinary:
I marvel at your courage.
Origin of marvel
1250-1300; Middle English mervel < Old French merveil(l)e < Late Latin mīrābilia marvels, noun use of neuter plural of Latin mīrābilis marvelous. See admirable
Related forms
marvelment, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for marvelling
Historical Examples
  • In this teaching, and marvelling ever at its beauty, Edward grew to manhood.

  • I am marvelling, for one thing, that you should have waited thirty years.

    The Lion's Skin Rafael Sabatini
  • marvelling at the greatness of her spirit, he grew—all unconsciously—the more enslaved.

    Love-at-Arms Raphael Sabatini
  • When the Hyrcanians heard this they led the way as he ordered, marvelling at his strength of soul.

    Cyropaedia Xenophon
  • Often as she slept I watched her, marvelling at the fine perfection of her face.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • We sat up late at night reading that book, marvelling at our good fortune.


    Christopher Morley
  • marvelling, the king asked, 'Damsel, for what cause are ye girded with that sword?'

    King Arthur's Knights

    Henry Gilbert
  • And Enid went before him on her palfrey, marvelling what all this might mean.

    King Arthur's Knights

    Henry Gilbert
  • It was no time for marvelling by what strange chance I had been brought there to hear what I did.

    Sir Ludar Talbot Baines Reed
  • All were marvelling at his dignity, courage, and generosity.

    Burlesques William Makepeace Thackeray
British Dictionary definitions for marvelling


verb -vels, -velling, -velled (US) -vels, -veling, -veled
when intr, often foll by at or about; when tr, takes a clause as object. to be filled with surprise or wonder
something that causes wonder
(archaic) astonishment
Word Origin
C13: from Old French merveille, from Late Latin mīrābilia, from Latin mīrābilis, from mīrārī to wonder at
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for marvelling



c.1300, "to be filled with wonder," from Old French merveillier "to wonder at, be astonished," from merveille (see marvel (n.)). Related: Marveled; marveling.



c.1300, "miracle," also "wonderful story or legend," from Old French merveille "a wonder, surprise, miracle," from Vulgar Latin *miribilia (also source of Spanish maravilla, Portuguese maravilha, Italian maraviglia), altered from Latin mirabilia "wonderful things," from neuter plural of mirabilis "wonderful, marvelous, extraordinary; strange, singular," from mirari "to wonder at," from mirus "wonderful" (see smile). A neuter plural treated in Vulgar Latin as a feminine singular. Related: Marvels.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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